Morrish speaks at Network @ Noon

By Katherine Miller

STAFF WRITER

CROWLEY – Louisiana State Senator Dan “Blade Morrish” of Jennings was the guest of honor during the Crowley Chamber of Commerce monthly Network at Noon, which was hosted by The Rice Palace of Crowley.

Chamber members began the meeting with a discussion of upcoming events, which included a gumbo cookoff to be held on December 5, as well as plans for next month’s Chamber after Hours.

The main topic of the meeting was the recent legislative session, which Senator Morrish referred to as “the most contentious session ever” during his 13 years of service as a senator.

Morrish explained that there were a variety of reasons behind this statement, the first of which was the $2 billion deficit that the state of Louisiana currently faces. Also contributing to this year’s “contentious” session was the fact that there were 65 new members added to Congress, which was very difficult for Congressmen as a whole.

Senator Morrish also highlighted the most important issues that pertain directly to the parishes which he represents, which are Acadia, Cameron, Calcasieu, Jeff Davis and Vermilion.

“One of the most important tasks that we as a whole succeeded in doing was to balance the budget,” he stated. “We used part of what is known as the rainy day fund in order to do this.”

The rainy day fund was established in 1998, and this session was the second time that Louisiana congressman have had to tap into them. Senator Morrish also stated that many people have been concerned as to how the state budget, after three prior years of surpluses in the budget, has acquired such a deficit. His answer to this question was quite simple. After the recent hurricanes, extra money received from the federal government was thrown into Louisiana’s state budget funds. In recent years, Morrish added, residents of Louisiana have received various tax breaks, which has also added to the declining budget.

The unfortunate effects of budget cuts will mostly be felt in the areas of healthcare and higher education, effects which will be felt for years to come.

Morrish also stressed the importance of the upcoming census. “I also believe that as a result of this year’s legislative session, the next few annual sessions will be much more contentious, particularly in 2011 when the reapportionment will occur following the results of the 2010 census,” he stated.

Other issues supported by Morrish include a raise in the amount of severance taxes that are brought back into the parishes, re-establishing coastal restoration.

To learn more about Senator Dan Morrish, visit his website at www.senate.legis.state.la.us/Morrish.

“Any time that you feel there are issues you would like to discuss with us, let us hear from you. It really does make a difference,” Morrish concluded.

Acadia Parish Today

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